This Space for Rent

Sep 30, 2004

Game over

I don't know how the Evil Party is going to spin this one. But the white teeth and tanning lotion on Maximum Leader Genius adds that extra touch of surreality that every election needs.

We can’t afford homeland security?

It's like debating Gollum. I wouldn't be surprised if the Coward in Chief started rubbing his hands together and muttering about his precious.

Look! It’s Whack-A-Coward™ time!

Go get 'im, John.

I do not think that word means what you think it means

«That's why they're fighting us so vociferously...»

Clap Harder!

The Wall Street Journal reporter Farnaz Fassihi is on location in Baghdad, and reports, in email, about the carpets of flowers in Vichy Iraq:

Being a foreign correspondent in Baghdad these days is like being under virtual house arrest. Forget about the reasons that lured me to this job: a chance to see the world, explore the exotic, meet new people in far away lands, discover their ways and tell stories that could make a difference.

Little by little, day-by-day, being based in Iraq has defied all those reasons. I am house bound. I leave when I have a very good reason to and a scheduled interview. I avoid going to people's homes and never walk in the streets. I can't go grocery shopping any more, can't eat in restaurants, can't strike a conversation with strangers, can't look for stories, can't drive in any thing but a full armored car, can't go to scenes of breaking news stories, can't be stuck in traffic, can't speak English outside, can't take a road trip, can't say I'm an American, can't linger at checkpoints, can't be curious about what people are saying, doing, feeling. And can't and can't. There has been one too many close calls, including a car bomb so near our house that it blew out all the windows. So now my most pressing concern every day is not to write a kick-ass story but to stay alive and make sure our Iraqi employees stay alive. In Baghdad I am a security personnel first, a reporter second.

It's hard to pinpoint when the 'turning point' exactly began. Was it April when the Fallujah fell out of the grasp of the Americans? Was it when Moqtada and Jish Mahdi declared war on the U.S. military? Was it when Sadr City, home to ten percent of Iraq's population, became a nightly battlefield for the Americans? Or was it when the insurgency began spreading from isolated pockets in the Sunni triangle to include most of Iraq? Despite President Bush's rosy assessments, Iraq remains a disaster. If under Saddam it was a 'potential' threat, under the Americans it has been transformed to 'imminent and active threat,' a foreign policy failure bound to haunt the United States for decades to come.

Iraqis like to call this mess 'the situation.' When asked 'how are thing?' they reply: 'the situation is very bad."

What they mean by situation is this: the Iraqi government doesn't control most Iraqi cities, there are several car bombs going off each day around the country killing and injuring scores of innocent people, the country's roads are becoming impassable and littered by hundreds of landmines and explosive devices aimed to kill American soldiers, there are assassinations, kidnappings and beheadings. The situation, basically, means a raging barbaric guerilla war. In four days, 110 people died and over 300 got injured in Baghdad alone. The numbers are so shocking that the ministry of health -- which was attempting an exercise of public transparency by releasing the numbers -- has now stopped disclosing them.

Insurgents now attack Americans 87 times a day.

A friend drove thru the Shiite slum of Sadr City yesterday. He said young men were openly placing improvised explosive devices into the ground. They melt a shallow hole into the asphalt, dig the explosive, cover it with dirt and put an old tire or plastic can over it to signal to the locals this is booby-trapped. He said on the main roads of Sadr City, there were a dozen landmines per every ten yards. His car snaked and swirled to avoid driving over them. Behind the walls sits an angry Iraqi ready to detonate them as soon as an American convoy gets near. This is in Shiite land, the population that was supposed to love America for liberating Iraq.

For journalists the significant turning point came with the wave of abduction and kidnappings. Only two weeks ago we felt safe around Baghdad because foreigners were being abducted on the roads and highways between towns. Then came a frantic phone call from a journalist female friend at 11 p.m. telling me two Italian women had been abducted from their homes in broad daylight. Then the two Americans, who got beheaded this week and the Brit, were abducted from their homes in a residential neighborhood. They were supplying the entire block with round the clock electricity from their generator to win friends. The abductors grabbed one of them at 6 a.m. when he came out to switch on the generator; his beheaded body was thrown back near the neighborhoods.

The insurgency, we are told, is rampant with no signs of calming down. If any thing, it is growing stronger, organized and more sophisticated every day. The various elements within it-baathists, criminals, nationalists and Al Qaeda-are cooperating and coordinating.

I went to an emergency meeting for foreign correspondents with the military and embassy to discuss the kidnappings. We were somberly told our fate would largely depend on where we were in the kidnapping chain once it was determined we were missing. Here is how it goes: criminal gangs grab you and sell you up to Baathists in Fallujah, who will in turn sell you to Al Qaeda. In turn, cash and weapons flow the other way from Al Qaeda to the Baathisst to the criminals. My friend Georges, the French journalist snatched on the road to Najaf, has been missing for a month with no word on release or whether he is still alive.

America's last hope for a quick exit? The Iraqi police and National Guard units we are spending billions of dollars to train. The cops are being murdered by the dozens every day-over 700 to date -- and the insurgents are infiltrating their ranks. The problem is so serious that the U.S. military has allocated $6 million dollars to buy out 30,000 cops they just trained to get rid of them quietly.

As for reconstruction: firstly it's so unsafe for foreigners to operate that almost all projects have come to a halt. After two years, of the $18 billion Congress appropriated for Iraq reconstruction only about $1 billion or so has been spent and a chuck has now been reallocated for improving security, a sign of just how bad things are going here.

Oil dreams? Insurgents disrupt oil flow routinely as a result of sabotage and oil prices have hit record high of $49 a barrel. Who did this war exactly benefit? Was it worth it? Are we safer because Saddam is holed up and Al Qaeda is running around in Iraq?

Iraqis say that thanks to America they got freedom in exchange for insecurity. Guess what? They say they'd take security over freedom any day, even if it means having a dictator ruler.

I heard an educated Iraqi say today that if Saddam Hussein were allowed to run for elections he would get the majority of the vote. This is truly sad.

Then I went to see an Iraqi scholar this week to talk to him about elections here. He has been trying to educate the public on the importance of voting. He said, "President Bush wanted to turn Iraq into a democracy that would be an example for the Middle East. Forget about democracy, forget about being a model for the region, we have to salvage Iraq before all is lost."

One could argue that Iraq is already lost beyond salvation. For those of us on the ground it's hard to imagine what if any thing could salvage it from its violent downward spiral. The genie of terrorism, chaos and mayhem has been unleashed onto this country as a result of American mistakes and it can't be put back into a bottle.

The Iraqi government is talking about having elections in three months while half of the country remains a 'no go zone'-out of the hands of the government and the Americans and out of reach of journalists. In the other half, the disenchanted population is too terrified to show up at polling stations. The Sunnis have already said they'd boycott elections, leaving the stage open for polarized government of Kurds and Shiites that will not be deemed as legitimate and will most certainly lead to civil war.

I asked a 28-year-old engineer if he and his family would participate in the Iraqi elections since it was the first time Iraqis could to some degree elect a leadership. His response summed it all: "Go and vote and risk being blown into pieces or followed by the insurgents and murdered for cooperating with the Americans? For what? To practice democracy? Are you joking?"

( link from Poynter Online, et alii)

No reason to actually watch the “debate”

The AP already has the press releases ready.

What are they afraid of?

The Clap Harder! campaign keeps getting cranked up higher and higher, just so the Evil Party can maintain parity with John Kerry coming into this, the first of the pretend "debates".

Let's go down the checklist:

  1. The pentagon has decided to report only human interest stories from now until the election.
  2. The coward in chief is having representatives of the Vichy Iraq government shipped to the United States to recite script written by the White House.
  3. Victory lap polls being shovelled out, never mind the teeny detail that those polls are wildly oversampling members of the Evil Party.
  4. Tanning lotion?
  5. And don't forget the Terror! Alert! warnings from now until the last ballot box is mysteriously lost on November 2.

I can smell the stink of fear coming out of the White House.

And, yes, I'm aware that cornered rats fight like a devil. But it's still a pretty sweet smell.

Sep 29, 2004

War Criminals

Making it easier to ship people away to be tortured is not one of those things that's going to make anybody think that there's anything special about the United States. And, what's more, it's going to just encourage all the thugs out there to just put in the boot just a little more against any Americans they get their repellent paws on.

Perhaps the Evil Party doesn't think that it's possible for the United States to be any better than the most corrupt thug out there? Or is it perhaps that none of their cowardly asses are ever going to be out there eating bullets so that someone else can get rich?

G-d’s got your number, George.

These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Not to be antisocial or anything

But where the fuck does that treasonous bastard Grover Norquist get the idea he can call my father unamerican? MY family has been in North America since the first permanent European colonisation of New England; which fucking boat did he ooze off?

How typical of his sort of conservatives; no end to abstract praise of soldiers, but when it comes down to specifics they're the ones who are knocking each other down to put the boot in against the people who actually fight. And for this I pay taxes?

If I was a Communist, instead of simply being a socialist who wants to leave my family better off that me (not better than my parents, alas; the days when a woolen mill worker could own a nice house along a river, plus a summer camp in Maine, are long gone. I'm a skilled professional programmer, and I think it's pretty unlikely that I'll leave the bears with a house and a summer camp) I'd be voting for the Coward in Chief, because after 4 more years of systematic looting, the United States would be primed and ready for the Communist revolution that was defused by the very same new deal that that pitiful welfare pig is trying to kill now.


Ah, maintainability

For the past couple of weeks, I've been trying to build a little Linux patch to have password authentication use database files (a'la FreeBSD and any other version of Un*x that is scalable) instead of the traditional slow to read and update flat file.

Since I was a sinner in a previous life, I'm doing this on R*dh*t Linux, which, since it's a modern Linux, is a complete disaster area once you get under the hood. R*dh*t uses shadow passwords, and it uses gl*bc, AND it uses PAM. So you have to update gl*bc (via /etc/nsswitch.conf) to READ the database files, you might have to update the pam package to have it talk to the databases, and you have to update the pile of fetid dingo's kidneys that the shadow password suite has become now that Julie Haugh isn't maintaining it anymore.

Ahh, shadow-utils, how may I count your charms? Well, that's easy. The shadow password suite has no charms. None. It's got both direct access to the password file (including, of course, ndbm support that does not work) plus support for Linux PAM, which isn't actually used in R*dh*t linux, because it uses a different version of login. And the bastard is has been made less portable by the simple step of converting to the thrice-damned gnu automake and configure packages (some of this can be remedied by the simple expedient of stripping out all references to and simply editing all the's -- modifying the .am files doesn't work, because automake postdates the new model GNU policy of backwards compatability be damned! -- but you're still stuck editing the files and then throwing yourself on the Taliban-style mercy of configure, which throws all ideas of portability right out the window if you're not doing things the exact same way as VMS did it.) And after all this, you end up stuck with the getting close to unmaintainable code that the shadow package is made up of.)

I suppose I should thank my lucky stars that the code isn't written the the thrice-damned vanity language p*th*n. But that's pretty thin gruel to be thankful for.

Sep 28, 2004

Snapshots of the past

A long time ago, when I was very young, I was bitten by the traction (electric railways) bug after I saw a Northwest Short Line ad for one of their GE 750 (Russia's for fans of the Paulista, 800's for fans of the CSS&SB, Little Joe for fans of the Milwaukee Road, and Class D for fans of the Parsons Vale), showing one of the Milwaukee Road units sitting in a scrapyard. For some reason, the looks of the 750 struck me as just what a locomotive could look like, and I became a fan of electric freight almost immediately after seeing this ad.

Being a traction fan in the United States, particularly in the 1970s, was not a particularly good place to be, because every single railroad that operated electric locomotives was busily buying diseasels and ripping down catenary as fast as they could. I didn't even see any electric freight operations until I left high school, when my parents gave me an Amtrak USARailPass for two weeks of riding passenger trains from LaCrosse to the west coast, then LaCrosse to the east coast. But I did have a camera, so I took some pictures of what engines I could find (no pictures of E33s or E44s, because I only saw them passing at speed on my east coast trip, but I did manage to get pictures of the ex New Haven EP5s in the deadline at Enola); when I moved into my house in Portland, I unearthed a lot of old pictures, and have been (slowly) scanning them into the computer for safekeeping.

On the big Amtrak trek, I managed to get pictures of a Portland Terminal switcher:

And the New Haven EP-5's sitting on the deadline:

Later on, when I was in college, I'd occasionally take a trip down to Chicago so I could ride the CSS&SB. They still used their 800s, so I managed to see them on almost every trip, but I only managed to get good photos of them on one trip (at the old Lake Shore depot in Gary):

After seeing one of the 800s in operation, it was hard for me to get much enthusiasm for any diesel. But, fortunately for posterity™, I still took pictures of some of the diesels I encountered, like the Fairbanks-Morse switchers the Milwaukee Road still operated in the Madison area:

Sep 27, 2004

Gilding the lily, B*sh junta style

If our little Waterloo on the Tigris wasn't going badly enough to begin with, let's have the CIA give money to favored candidates in the upcoming Iraqi "elections".

The CIA; now that's an organizational that screams electoral integrity to anyone who's got more than a 30 second attention span. Why, this makes dragging our puppet dictator to the United States for the Maximum Leader Genius reselection campaign seem almost like an intelligent decision.

Political question of the day

Are you emboldening™ America's enemies when you invite them to bring it on?

Or are you just being a coward, because you know full well that you won't be putting your lily-white tuckus on the line of fire?

Sep 26, 2004

Not quite as revolutionary as you might think

The mass media is all atwitter over weblogs these days. Weblogs are New! Exciting! Revolutionary!, and they're going to redo the entire news media in a single blow. (Either that or the authors just want to have sex with Wonkette.)

Lesse, I've seen this happen before. In Poland. Except they were using mimeograph machines to get the horribly slanted commentary out.

And that technology was only about 90 years old at the time.

Sep 25, 2004

Iron Artist

Instead of doing something productive today, the best, the bears, and I went to SCRAP's IRON ARTIST timed art creation program/mini streetfair.

The idea behind this is that a bunch of artist teams are given a pile of parts, a theme, and 3 hours to make some piece of art which is then judged by a crack team of local celebrities and then raffled off to the attendees. This is an excuse for a street party for the (distressingly young) bohemian art scene, complete with performance art, bands, food, and drink.

The bears were good soldiers about the whole thing, even though Russell wasn't particularly interested in much of the big party on Russell street.

Extremo the clown gave both bears little red rubber clown noses, but only Silas was willing to have me take a picture of him wearing it.

Near the end of the 3 hour artbuilding session, the marching band/dance group March Fourth! did a nice long performance. These people are a lot more fun that a band should be, and I think I'm going to have to find some way to see more of them.

1 comment

Sep 24, 2004

Oh, this is really funny

Cat Stevens, who recently got turfed out of the United States for being a security risk, is, as anyone who hasn't been living in a cave on the dark side of the moon already knows, Muslim. What I didn't know about him was which particular sect he is --- I just discovered that he's a Wahhabi, which, by amusing coincidence, happens to be the exact same sect that is very very popular in a country that's run by the Coward in Chief's good friends and business associates.

I do not expect that friends of B*sh will be receiving the same sort of treatment.

1 comment

Sep 23, 2004

The Peter Pan election

Apparently, there's a stage version of Peter Pan, and one of the things they do in it is when, near the end of the show Tinkerbell drinks some poison that was set out for Peter Pan, the actor or actress playing Peter Pan tells the audience that Tinkerbell will die unless you clap to prove that you believe in fairies. And, in every case, the little boys and girls clap like mad, Tinkerbell comes back to life, and the play ends happily.

There's a story where it doesn't work out so well; the props are breaking, the cast is surly, and by the time Tinkerbell drinks the poison the actress playing Peter Pan just wants to go home, and thus Tinkerbell dies.

Well, here we are in the theatre, and from on top of the pile of broken props and actors, Tinkerbell has just collapsed. As smoke drifts out from the back of the stage, Peter Pan, reeking of gin, staggers out and starts shrieking CLAP HARDER! CLAP HARDER, DAMNIT! NOTHING IS WRONG WITH THE PLAY, SO YOU'D BETTER CLAP HARDER!

I'm not clapping anymore.

Narrow gauge news from Airstrip One

British railfans have been rebuilding the Rheilffordd Eryri (Porthmadog to Dinas, Gwynedd) with donations of money from various sources, up to and including a big wad of pounds from the Millennium Commission in the UK. After they went through this money, they had half the railway finished and were shopping around for funding sources to complete it.

I've been looking in at their website occasionally to see if anything new has happened, and today I looked in to see that the EU and the Welsh Assembly Government had given them £5,000,000 to help complete the other half of the railway. And they're hoping to have all 25 miles of the line back in operation by 2009. The cloud around this silver lining is that they're estimating it will take £10,500,000 to completely finish the line, so they still need to beg for money.

Fortunately, it doesn't sound like they need all the money now (and I don't have £6000 lying around right now, either) so I can wait for the US elections to finish up before seeing how much I could possibly donate to the Rheilffordd Eryri.

As an added bonus, K1 (or K2, or K(1+2)/2) is back in steam, and has been trucked up to Dinas to start generating revenue. This means that come 2009, the best, the bears, and I might be able to ride behind K1 from Dinas to Porthmadog, then behind Russell back to Dinas. I can hardly wait.

Welcome to the Reality Distortion Zone™

I occasionally hear snippets of conversation about how the United States isn't actually torturing people, it's just humiliating them.

This would come as a great surprise to the 25 or so people who've been tortured to death by the United States (in Iraq; I don't know how many people have been tortured to death elsewhere in the New Model Gulag). This would come as a great surprise to the people who've been waterboarded (which is a polite way to say "tie someone to a bed and drop it into water"). This would come as a great surprise to the people who've been raped, or doused with water and left outside in the freezing cold, or had dogs set on them.

I guess it must be a blessing to be free of the ravages of intelligence. I just wish they wouldn't be so blatant about it.


Unified login? If only

Since we're officially a Windows shop at work (despite having several thousand clients who are using our linux distribution to run big multiuser machines), we, allegedly, get the benefits of having Microsoft-style unified logins everywhere.

In reality, it doesn't quite work that way. We have

  • A login for logging into Windows boxes (but no roaming profiles, which kind of defeats the whole idea)
  • A login for a web-based timesheet program
  • A login for the other web-based timesheet program
  • A login for our private webpages for employee information
  • A login for our 401k program
  • A login to get into our terminal server machines, so we can use a modembank to call up the customer boxes and diagnose things
  • A login to get into the software version control machines
  • And, of course, a dozen or so separate logins for the Unix machines

Half of these logins run on timers, so we need to change passwords for them every now and then. And none of the timers are the same, and some of the login timers don't warn you, but just pop up a your password has expired. Change it now message form.

And all of the timered password have some version of password security on them, so you can't pick good to remember passwords, but have to pick ones with letters, LETTERS, numbers, and punctuation (which end up being written on a card so you'll remember them, because if you don't the your password has expired. Change it now message will leave you with a system you can't get into because you're using a Mac-style keychain and don't remember the stupid meaningless password of the week.)

Sep 22, 2004

The Joy of Windows

At work, we're saddled with a all-windows-all-the-time BOFH department. Trivially, it means no Linux support (for a company which has many clients running thousands of users on, um, Linux boxes, and thus a large and active development community that uses Linux boxes to develop the software to run on those multiple-hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars-a-year revenue producing boxes.) Less trivially, it means we need to deal with whatever odd Windows server software that comes from the flying monkeys in Redmond and Beaverton. So, our mail comes in through an exchange server, outgoing web traffic goes through the Microsoft proxy server, and DNS is handled through a Microsoft DNS server.

The microsoft DNS server is, um, peculiar. I've got pell configured correctly, in that it's both a machine name and a domain name, and all the libertarian nameservers actually seem to deal with it properly, so that dig returns both the IP address for pell plus the mxes, nameservers, and whatnot. But the Microsoft dns server will reliably return, um, one piece of information. Usually it's the A record, but occasionally it gets into a fit where all it wants to do is return the NS record, and I only discover this when I'm trying to scp work from home to work or visa-versa, and scp starts complaining about the host not existing.

I can understand the temptation of having the program only return one record. After all, I've taken that shortcut a few times when I was having trouble figuring out the oh-so-readable RFCs that were written by people who'd just come off a night of trying to understand P*rlp*th*nr*bytcl. But I don't turn around and sell most of this code (at least without having the testers beat me about the head to fix it first), unlike the trillion $ gorilla that's headquartered 150 miles north of me.

Sure, I can just keep hitting refresh (as I have to do with the Microsoft proxy server when it decides to feed me half-digested xml files in place of the webpages I want to look at), but that doesn't exactly strike me as the most coherent way to thank people for paying you. Well, maybe in Texas, but not anywhere else in the United States.

Sep 21, 2004

Peace Train considered harmful

Today, an airplane going from London to Washington, DC was forced to land in Bangor, Maine; the flying monkeys from Homeland Security had detected a horrible security risk on the airplane that needed to be kept out of the United States.

The security risk? Cat Stevens.

As I've said before, they're not just fascists, they're stupid fascists.

(link via Talking Points Memo)


I hate redhat Linux (part n of many)

I'm trying to install R*dh*t 8 on a machine so we can have a t0p s3kr3t build machine for some stupid proprietary device drivers for our Linux distribution. I don't want to do the traditional Unix method of having approximately 70 dinky little partitions, each of which turns out to be too small, so I've been trying to partition the disk as 8gb root, 1gb swap, 27gb /home.

The first time I ran the stupid R*dh*t graphical partitioner, and after setting up the configuration I wanted, it started installing and fell over because it decided not to try and partition the disk. No partitions == no swap == the stupid p*th*n installer falling over because mkswap failed, no saving throw.

The second time I ran the stupid R*dh*t graphical partitioner, it said it was formatting the partitions, and I walked away to let it install, only to come back and see it complaining that my 8gb root partition wasn't big enough to fit 880mb of binaries onto.


Riddle me this

Given that the vast bulk of Iraq is under control of the resistance and they're getting more organized and more aggressive by the day, why the devil is the US planning on doing a major offensive after the election? And, furthermore, why are the flying monkeys in the B*sh junta spilling the beans to the press about it?

Okay, I'm joking when I phrase it as a question. I know why it's being announced and delayed; it's being announced to buck up the warbloggers, who might otherwise stray off the reservation like Andrew Sullivan did, and it's being delayed so that the photos of thousands of Iraqi deaths won't sway the 20% or so of the electorate which still aren't quite sure who to vote for, but which think that the Coward in Chief is a really nice guy right now.

So what's an additional 200 or so dead american soldiers? Remember, this is an administration that's saving money by ripping soldier's heads off and pissing down their throat, so tossing a few more soldiers on the barbie is not even worth the time to think about.

Sep 19, 2004

Getting out of the house

Today, the Best, the bears, and I decided to reward ourselves with a trip to the fish ladder at Bonneville Dam after cleaning up (some) of Chateau Chaos. We left home around 2pm, and got out to the dam at sometime around 3, and after getting through security we proceeded to the fish ladder and watched fish swim by for about 20 minutes.


Eventually, Russell and Silas got hungry, so we proceeded up to the car for a snack (after stopping in the little gift shop and pushing the chirp buttons on every single one of the stupid little plush chirping bird dolls they had there; I’m glad those are a fad that has past. We were given a plush chirping bluebird a few years ago, and realised the battery was dying when we started hearing s sort of low squeaky ccccccccccchhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiirrrrrrrrpppp cccccccccchhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiirrrrrrppppp cccccccccchhhhhhhiiiiiiiiirrrrrppppp and couldn’t figure out for the longest time that it was that stupid bird.)


We didn’t see any trains coming or going while we were driving out to Bonneville dam, so we were starting to crack jokes about now that the UP had become a major Evil Party donor, they had decided to stop running trains and instead partake in good old government graft. But while we were digging out the food at our car, along came the first of three westbound grain trains.

After watching the train, and one of the little diesel paddlewheel tourist boards that visits the dam, we went down to the fish hatchery (the abattoir was in operation, this being fish season, but we decided to skip watching them decapitate and eviscerate fish. The bears will have more than enough time to experience that if we ever start fishing for fun), and saw a second westbound UP train while feeding Purina Trout Chow to the flock of rainbow trout that the fish and game people keep there as a tourist attraction. Then we got in the car and headed east to the scenic highway, on our way to the waterfalls. We stopped at Oneonta Gorge so the bears could see the huge logjam at the mouth of that gorge (one of these days we’re going to wade back to the waterfalls there, but we’re probably not going to do it this year with our two year old and four year old. While we were scrambling around the stream there getting our feet wet, a third westbound UP train came screaming by as fast as the brace of U-boats could pull it.


We didn’t stay very long at Multnomah falls, because it was getting somewhat rainy, but just before we left we heard the toooot! TOOOOT! of an eastbound train, so I set myself up to try and take a good picture of the train.



The train was going so fast that the camera didn’t have time to properly focus on the first shot (when we get $50,000 got $1000 ahead, I’ll want to replace it with a digital camera back with manual focus I replaced it with a Pentax *istDS), but the second shot came right into focus (note that the best and the bears got a better view of the train than I did.)

We packed ourselves into the car, then headed west toward Crown Point. Just past the Multnomah Falls parking lot, the road goes up a bit, and then down. As the road came down. I saw what looked like the sunlight reflecting on the railroad alongside the road, then realized that it was too cloudy to be the sun, so it had to be a train.


I had barely enough time to roll down the window and point the camera out before the next eastbound train came blasting past as fast as it could go.


We kept following the historic highway until we reached Crown Point, which was windy and cold, then took the Corbett ramp down to I84 and drove into Portland for supper.

A teeny conrail engine pulls a load of fish

For dinner, we stopped at Sushi Takahashi for a pile of Dead! Raw! Fish!, and I got a change to take a video of a U-boat pulling a slow fish train, and then we went home and almost all of us went to bed, leaving me awake to narrate this story.

Sep 17, 2004

I love the American health-care system

A month or so ago, I went out and had a new set of reading glasses made, so I could do something radical like actually being able to see things that are within reading distance. A few weeks later, I got the glasses. Which didn't work (unless by work you mean gave me blinding headaches which made it impossible to actually use them), and then, just before I went back to the glasses place to get them to look at the stupid glasses, I got a note from my fucking useless insurance company saying "oh, there's an X-ray item on your bill that we're not going to pay for". I went in to the eyeglasses place to return the glasses and inform them that I was not going to pay this $122 dollar charge and I wanted to know what it would be.

After two and a half hours, they decided that my prescription was wrong and they'd have to correct the glasses. As for the mysterious $122 dollar charge, nobody in their office knew what it was, and so they said their billing person would get would call me back that afternoon.

I got a call back, but something about the glasses and not anything about the $122. That was last week. Today, I got a bill from the stupid eyeglasses place for -- taa-fucking-daa! -- the stupid $122 dollar charge.

So I circled the charge, wrote a note saying that I did not request that procedure and that I was not going to pay for it, so please take it off my bill, and mailed the bill back to the eyeglasses place.

I'd love to live in a country where the whole damned medical system isn't a massive confidence scam. Perhaps it's time to start investigating a get out of Hell free card, just so I won't spend my declining years fighting with doctors and health insurance companies over a string of stupid extortion attempts.

Not even trying to hide their agenda

The Gallup organization is oversampling the Evil Party and undersampling Democrats. And they're perfectly happy to admit it.

  • Good for them, that they aren't trying to pass off these, um, results as anything other than a direct attempt to get the Coward in Chief selected again.
  • BAD for the SCLM(™ Atrios) that they're just happily slurping up this propaganda and treating it like a real poll.

I wonder what other agendas there are floating around? Even if we strike off Gallop as just another Karl Rove mouthpiece, there are still another half-dozen polling organizations out there who are shovelling out results that, maybe, come within 15% of each other. Which ones are getting a little something from the GOP, and which ones are getting a little something from the Democratic Party? My conspirovision says that none of them are getting anything from the Democratic Party, because it's not organized enough to do graft and not have the news leak out to the SCLM in approximately 50 nanoseconds, but it's possible that the Democratic Party is matching the Evil Party blow for blow.

In any case, all the polls are lying to us and it's sane to just assume that your boy (whether he's a patriot or a lying coward) needs your help to close out the election. But if you're a member of the Evil Party, you're perfectly welcome to believe the Gallop results; they'll just give you something to rant about when the ballot returns don't match the polls.

(link via The Left Coaster)

Sep 16, 2004

It’s got the wrong effing motto

[picture of the Wisconsin quarter dollar]

It should say EAT CHEESE OR DIE.

And now there are four

Manitoba has joined Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia in legalizing same-sex marriages in Canada. Apparently 75% of the population of Canada now lives in provinces which allow same-sex marriage.

(Link via Timbre of a TimeFree Mind)

Checkmating the useful idiots

A while back, CBS had 60 minutes interview one of the people who helped Maximum Leader Genius get a cushy National Guard billet instead of having to go to Vietnam and fight in the war he was in favor of. During this interview, they dragged out some recently unearthed memos that said that the Coward in Chief had actually disobeyed orders during his tour of "duty". Well, the more hysterical branch of the Mighty Wurlitzer went absolutely apeshit, spinning out story after story (most of which were dutifully relayed to the world by various A-list left commentators) about how those memos Had! To! Be! Faked! for a dozen or so reasons that got shot right down within about 30 minutes of being brought up.

Well, eventually, someone thought of talking to the secretary who would have been responsible for typing up these memos (because, as everyone knows, executives don't type) and she looked at them and said she didn't type those documents. Okay, so CBS promptly booked her on one of the versions of 60 minutes and interviewed her about the memos, where she said, again, that she didn't type those documents, but the content was accurate.


Does this count as trying to buy off liberal votes?

Dangerous Precedent thinks that it would be a spiffy idea for the EU to offer work visas to leftists who agreed to move to Europe for the duration if the Coward in Chief steals the 2004 election (third or fourth paragraph down.) Now, I'm not likely to be badly hurt if Maximum Leader Genius isn't driven out of power; I'm white, I'm married™ to a woman, and I'm upper middle class, so I could probably survive until the revolution came, but then, a work visa isn't something to sneeze at.

The scare tactics with the polls (my reaction to the, um, interesting poll results is to just give the Kerry campaign more support, and I suspect that's the common reaction, countrary to the shrieking hysteria by A-list liberal commentators who should know better) won't work, but dangling a get out of Hell free card, which is exactly what a work visa for the duration would be, would be a terrible temptation to people who aren't anchored to the United States by 3 generations of family and an irrational dislike of snowy winters.

Sep 15, 2004

Sushi vs. the bears

Tonight, Russell really, really wanted sushi, so, after a couple of failed attempts to find something else to eat, we piled into the Prius and went to Yoko's, on Gladstone. We got there at sometime around 7:40, and, of course, there was this huge long line of people signed in ahead of this. But, it was dead! raw! fish!, so we added ourself to the list and waited.

... and waited.

... and waited.

45 minutes later we got seats at the sushi bar, ordered, waited, ate sushi until we started to burst, paid, and went home, getting home at 9:15pm just in time for bed.

Total amount of Baby Hysteria? About 15 seconds at the very end, when Russell didn't want to wash his hands and protested vociferously until he realized that we weren't going to insist that he wash his hands.

It's amazing how good sushi tastes when the little human time bombs don't go off, but just eat and eat and eat.

Equality Is Not The Privilege Of The Majority

The Portland City Council has unanimously voted to oppose the hate amendment.

(via the Portland Communique)

Sep 14, 2004

Vim sucks dead bunnies through a straw

Vim, how do I hate you? Let me count the ways:

  1. Syntax highlighting.
  2. set noai doesn't work.
  3. Crappy documentation.
  4. Ships as vi on R*dh*t Linux.
  5. three pages of output for set all?

If I wanted emacs, I know where to find it, and I DON'T WANT EMACS.

Added points for frustration are that the ESR-termcap is broken by design and thus breaks the real vi, which makes it really fun to rebuild a vi that will work on the now-terminally-broken ncurses library.

Grrr. GRRRR!

Homeland security notes for September 2004

Bush fiddled while Gotham burned.

Sep 13, 2004

The evolution of hate

When I came out in the early 1980s, one of the standard excuses that the bigots used to justify their homophobia was that LGB people didn't care about love; all we wanted to do was fuck and thus our "avoidance" of committed relationships proved that we didn't deserve equal treatment under the law. Two decades on, we've proved pretty eloquently that this is not the case and that we'll fight enthusiastically for the chance to get involved in committed relationships, whether or not the government sanctions them.

"Okay", say the homophobes, "that first argument didn't work, so we'll just make something up and see if we can sell it!" So now the argument for not providing equal treatment under the law has changed subtly to "it's traditional to discriminate against queers, so your rights as human beings are trumped by our rights to preserve the discrimination we're used to." This is the same sort of argument that I hear 4-year-olds make about anything (usually at the top of their lungs): I DON'T LIKE IT! YOU CAN'T DO THAT BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE IT! YOU'RE BEING MEAN TO ME!

I expect that when this latest round of evil from the hate amendment crowd (these people claim to be Christians, but I've never seen a lick of Christian charity or compassion from any of them) is finally kicked into the grave it richly deserves (either when the Oregon hate amendment is defeated at the polls, by the Supreme Court, or when Canada annexes Oregon after the United States disintegrates into civil war) that their next approach will be "Look, not very many gay people are married. They don't want committed relationships and should be discriminated against!" as if the past 25 years had never happened.

North Korea? Not nearly the threat Iraq was!

  • Tossing UN weapons inspectors out? Just high spirits!
  • Reprocessing nuclear material to make bomb-grade plutonium? Nope, not good enough.
  • Testing ballistic missiles that are capable of reaching the west coast of the United States? Only liberals live in the cities; nothing to worry about!
  • A mushroom cloud over two miles in diameter? An explosion that was detected from space? Oh, that's nothing; just a routine demolition job that just happened to be bigger than the explosion that levelled the city of Ryongchon.

So what does will not tolerate mean? Does this mean that the Coward-in-Chief won't be sending baby Kim the customary christmas gift basket?

Encouraging and discouraging signs in rural Oregon

When we went to the coast, we saw approximately 10 Kerry/Edwards signs to each sign for the Coward-in-Chief.

And there weren't very many pro-hate amendment signs either (I've seen more hate amendment signs in Portland than I've seen in the surrounding countryside), but, even though nobody I know is in favor of the latest round to write discrimination into the Oregon constitution, I've not seen any anti-hate amendment signs anywhere in the state.

Sep 12, 2004

Out for the weekend

This weekend, the best, the bears, and I went to the Oregon coast to spend a couple of nights with friends at a cottage (I call it a summer camp, but that seems to be either a Wisconsin or New Hampshire naming convention; everybody else thinks that summer camps are those internment camps for teenagers that every middle class kid in North America has ended up being stuck at at least once in their life) near the coast.

No net connection there, but it was on a river just upstream of the ocean, so we couldn't see the ocean but we could hear it (louder than the trains we hear leaving Brooklyn yard) all the time we were there.

Sep 10, 2004

Evil Party/Stupid Party in a nutshell

The Font Queens for Truth work up a cock and bull story about fonts, and the liberal weblogging elite (with the notable exception of Atrios) looks at all the "evidence" presented by the experts at technical weblogs like Little Green Braincell, and rattle on about "oh, this is troubling information from experts".

Yeah, right. As if the last four years of lies, threats, more lies, and more threats coming off these very same websites wasn't enough to convince you that they might not be the fucking paragons of objective truth you think they are. Sheesh. Expecting the truth about a Democrat from a conservative website is like thinking I'm complementing the Coward in Chief when I make some snarky comment about him outdoing himself.


Jesus of Nazareth? Don’t vote for him; he’s just another commie scum!

(from Mad Magazine via Atrios

Sep 09, 2004

Remember … ?

Remember the book Fortunate Son, which claimed, among other things, that the Coward in Chief had been arrested for drug possession? Remember how Karl and his boys dug up a bunch of dirt on the author and used that to get the publisher (St. Martin's Press) to withdraw the book? Remember how nobody actually mentioned anything about the validity of the arguments, but used Hatfield's, um, checquered past as a blanket excuse?

It's deja vu all over again.

Retired Foresters For Truth and me

Today I got two letters mailed from something or another Liberty Street in Salem, which, when opened, turned out to be two copies of a letter from Mr. K. Arlrove (or something similar) telling me that I'd better vote against Oregon measure 34, because it was something being promoted by radical environmentalists, activist courts, and foreigners and that it would overturn the objective and balanced scientificially designed forestry plan from the logging, er, forestry service.

I've been so occupied about the efforts to overthrow G**rg* W. B*sh, deserter, that I haven't been paying any attention to any state measures except the latest efforts from the hate amendment people, but given this brilliant attack on Measure 34 I'm almost certain to vote for it sight unseen.

(quick web search later...)

Oh, it's a new forest plan for the Tillamook and Clatsop forests. And it doesn't come out and say no logging, for that is the way of communism, so I presume that the loggers will be able to continue logging on state land without many restrictions. But it's obviously not scientifically designed (according to Mr. Arlrove) so it can't be as good as any logging industry endorsed plans.

I guess I'll be voting for Measure 34. Thanks, K. Arlrove, for your input!

Looks can be deceiving

You might think this is a picture of a farm out in the country (taken from a nearby Tri-Met bus), but it's actually Oaks Bottom in SE Portland.

Maximum Leader Genius can still surprise me

Disobeying direct orders from his superior officers?

Even in the context of the relaxed moral "standards" of the Evil Party, that's pretty impressive.

Sep 08, 2004

You can tell we’ve gone down the rabbit hole…

... when Pat Buchanan sounds more rational than the people occupying the White House.

And ol' Pat doesn't sound completely wound here, either.

(link via First Draft)

How do you ask someone to be the last to die for a mistake?

Childers, Therrel Shane • Aubin, Jay Thomas • Beaupre, Ryan Anthony • Kennedy, Brian Matthew • Waters-Bey, Kendall Damon • Cecil, John • Evans, Llywelyn Karl • Guy, Philip Stuart • Hedenskog, Sholto • Hehir, Les • Seymour, Ian • Stratford, Mark • Ward, Jason • Gutierrez, Jose Antonio • Green, Philip D. • King, Anthony • Lawrence, Marc A. • West, Philip • Williams, James • Wilson, Andrew S. • Orlowski, Eric James • Tobler, Brandon Scott • Adams, Thomas Mullen • Main, Kevin Barry • Williams, David Rhys • Hodson, Nicolas Michael • Seifert, Christopher Scott • Addison, Jamaal Rashard • Pokorney Jr., Frederick Eben • Buggs, George Edward • Dowdy, Robert John • Estrella-Soto, Ruben • Johnson II, Howard • Kiehl, James Michael • Mata, Johnny Villareal • Piestewa, Lori Ann • Sloan, Brandon Ulysses • Walters, Donald Ralph • Anguiano, Edward John • Bitz, Michael Edward • Fribley, David Keith • Garibay, Jose Angel • Gonzalez, Jorge Alonso • Jordan, Phillip Andrew • Slocum, Thomas Jonathan • Buesing, Brian Rory • Rosacker, Randal Kent • Williams, Michael Jason • Nixon, Patrick Ray • Reiss, Brendon Curtis • Burkett, Tamario Demetrice • Cline Jr., Donald John • Hutchings, Nolen Ryan • Gifford, Jonathan Lee • Chanawongse, Kemaphoom "Ahn" • Allsopp, Luke • Cullingworth, Simon • Roberts, Steven Mark • Stephen, Barry • James, Evan Tyler • Korthaus, Bradley Steven • Sanders, Gregory Paul • Blair, Thomas Alan • Allbutt, Stephen John • Clarke, David Jeffrey • Stone, Gregory Lewis • Johnson Jr., Michael Vann • Nave, Kevin Gerard • May Jr., Donald Charles • O'Day, Patrick Terence • Martinez-Flores, Francisco Abraham • Rodriguez, Robert Marcus • Menusa, Joseph • Suarez del Solar, Jesus Alberto • Hull, Matty • Padilla-Ramirez, Fernando • Solomon, Roderic Antoine • Cawley, James Wilford • Creighton-Weldon, Michael Russell  • Curtin, Michael Edward • Rincon, Diego Fernando • Williams, Eugene • White, William Wayne • Ballard, Steve Alexis • Brierley, Shaun Andrew • Maddison, Christopher R. • Lalush, Michael Vernon • McGinnis, Brian Daniel • Contreras, Aaron Joseph • Muir, Chris • Jeffries, William Andrew • Rowe, Brandon Jacob • Shearer, Karl • Butler, Jacob Lee • Maglione III, Joseph Basil • Anderson, Brian Edward • Gurtner, Christian Daniel • Fernandez, George Andrew • White, Nathan Dennis • Adamouski, James Francis • Halvorsen, Erik Anders • Jamar, Scott • Pedersen, Michael Francis • Smith, Eric Allen • Boule, Matthew George • Bales, Chad Eric • Oaks Jr., Donald Samuel • Rehn, Randall Scott • Robbins, Todd James • Livaudais, Nino Dugue • Long, Ryan Patrick • Rippetoe, Russell Brian • Evnin, Mark Asher • Silva, Erik Hernandez • Davis, Wilbert • Korn, Edward Jason • Ford, Travis Allen • Sammis, Benjamin Wilson • Aitken, Tristan Neil • Bellard, Wilfred Davyrussell • Cunningham Jr., Daniel Francis • Jones, Devon Demilo • Smith, Paul Ray • Gooden, Bernard George • McPhillips, Brian Michael • Rios, Duane Roy • Booker, Stevon Alexander • Brown, Larry Kenyatta • Smith, Edward • Malone, Ian Keith • Muzvuru, Christopher • Turrington, Kelan John • Huxley Jr., Gregory Paul • Prewitt, Kelley Stephen • Aviles, Andrew Julian • Medellin, Jesus Martin Antonio • Hollinsaid, Lincoln Daniel • Kaylor, Jeffrey Joseph • Miller, Anthony Scott • Mitchell Jr., George Arthur • Watkins III, William Randolph • Das, Eric Bruce • Brown, Henry Levon • Garza Jr., Juan Guadalupe • Marshall, John Winston • Meyer, Jason Michael • Stever, Robert Anthony • Sather, Scott Douglas • Bohr Jr., Jeffrey Edward • Hemingway, Terry Wayne • Tejeda, Riayan Augusto • Gonzalez, Jesus Angel • Owens Jr., David Edward • Mercado, Gil • Foley III, Thomas Arthur • Mayek, Joseph Patrick • Gonzalez, Armando Ariel • Goward, Richard Allen • Mileo, Jason David • Brown, John Eli • Rivero, John Travis • Tweedie, Alexander • Arnold, Andrew Todd • Channell Jr., Robert William • Lam, Alan Dinh • Buckley, Roy Russell • Jenkins, Troy David • Orozco, Osbaldo • Sullivan, Narson Bertil • Garza, Joe Jesus • McCue, James • Givens, Jesse Alan • Reynolds, Sean C. • Deibler, Jason L. • Kelly, Andrew • Pritchard, Duncan • Rockhold, Marlin T. • Bruns, Cedric E. • Carl, Richard P. • Gukeisen, Hans N. • Van Dusen, Brian K. • Smith, Matthew R. • Kowalik, Jakub Henryk • Rodriguez, Jose F. Gonzalez • Griffin Jr., Patrick Lee • Kleiboeker, Nicholas Brian • Nutt, David T. • Payne, William L. • Marencoreyes, Douglas Jose • Sahib, Rasheed • Shepherd, David • Baragona, Dominic Rocco • LaMont, Andrew David • Ryan, Timothy Louis • White, Aaron Dean • Straseskie, Kirk Allen • Moore, Jason William • Caldwell, Nathaniel A. • Harvey, Leonard • Evans Jr., David • Mitchell, Keman L. • Nalley, Kenneth A. • Petriken, Brett J. • Smith, Jeremiah D. • Schram, Matthew E. • Broomhead, Thomas F. • Quinn, Michael B. • Bradley, Kenneth R. • Perez III, Jose A. • Gleason, Michael T. • Griffin, Kyle A. • Long, Zachariah W. • Lambert, Jonathan W. • Haro Marin Jr., Atanasio • Oberleitner, Branden F. • Bollinger Jr., Doyle W. • Burkhardt, Travis L. • Sisung, David • Halling, Jesse M. • Dooley, Michael E. • Neighbor, Gavin L. • Klinesmith Jr., John K. • Pokorny, Andrew R. • Cox, Ryan R. • Suell, Joseph D. • Pahnke, Shawn D. • Frantz, Robert L. • Tosto, Michael L. • Deuel, Michael R. • Latham, William T. • Nakamura, Paul T. • Smith, Orenthial Javon • Hamilton-Jewell, Simon A. • Aston, Russell • Long, Paul Graham • Miller, Simon • Hyde, Benjamin John M. • Keys, Thomas Richard • Lennon, Cedric Lamont • MacDonald, Gregory E. • Chris, Andrew F. • Philippe, Gladimir • Ott, Kevin C. • Orengo, Richard P. • Hubbell, Corey A. • McIntosh, Joshua • Sotelo Jr., Tomas • Conneway, Timothy M. • Coffin, Christopher D. • Bradachnall, Travis J. • Small, Corey L. • Herrgott, Edward J. • Wershow, Jeffrey M. • Parson, David B. • Keith, Chad L. • Sanford Sr., Barry • Boling, Craig A. • McKinley, Robert L. • Rowe, Roger Dale • Tetrault, Jason • Valles, Melissa • Gabrielson, Dan H. • Schultz, Christian C. • Neusche, Joshua M. • Cassidy, Paul J. • Puello-Coronado, Jaror C. • Crockett, Michael T. • Geurin, Cory Ryan • Torres, Ramon Reyes • Moreno, David J. • Whetstone, Mason Douglas • Bertoldie, Joel L. • Linton, James • Rozier, Jonathan D. • Jordan, Jason D. • Garvey, Justin W. • Willoughby, Christopher R. • Scott, David A. • Bibby, Mark Anthony • Fettig, Jon P. • Christian, Brett T. • Byers, Joshua T. • Ashcraft, Evan Asa • Perez, Hector R. • Serrano, Juan M. • Heighter, Raheen Tyson • Barnes, Jonathan P. • Methvin, Daniel K. • Perez Jr., Wilfredo • Cheatham, Jonathan M. • McMillin, Heath A. • Maher III, William J. • Hart Jr., Nathaniel • Nott, Leif E. • Deutsch, Michael J. • Lambert III, James I. • Hebert, Justin W. • Loyd, David L. • Letufuga, Farao K. • Gilbert, Kyle C. • Colunga, Zeferino E. • Simmons, Leonard D. • Hellerman, Brian R. • Longstreth, Duane E. • Bush, Matthew D. • Ramsey, Brandon • Knighten Jr., Floyd G. • Kinchen, Levi B. • Perry, David S. • Williams, Taft V. • Eaton Jr., Richard S. • Brown Jr., Timmy R. • Parker, Daniel R. • Smith, Jason • White, Steven W. • Jones, David Martyn • Kirchhoff, David M. • Ivory, Craig S. • Pedersen, Preben • Hull, Eric R. • Harris Jr., Kenneth W. • Martin-Oar, Manuel  • Franklin, Bobby C. • Adams, Michael S. • Jones-Huffman, Kylan A. • Mack, Vorn J. • Titchener, Matthew • Wall, Colin • Pritchard, Dewi • Scott, Stephen M. • Allen Jr., Ronald D. • Manzano, Pablo • Dent, Darryl T. • Beeston, Russell • Navea, Rafael L. • Belanger, Gregory A. • Sherman, Anthony L. • Lawton, Mark A. • Cataudella, Sean K. • Sarno, Cameron B. • Camara, Joseph • Caldwell, Charles Todd • Sisson, Christopher A. • Brown, Bruce E. • Thompson, Jarrett B. • Carlock, Ryan G. • Robsky Jr., Joseph E. • Ybarra III, Henry • Bennett, William M. • Morehead, Kevin N. • Blumberg, Trevor A. • Kimmerly, Kevin C. • Peterson, Alyssa R. • Wright, James C • Faunce, Brian R. • Thompson, Anthony O. • Arriaga, Richard • Friedrich, David Travis • Brown II, Lunsford B. • Miller Jr., Frederick L. • Sturino, Paul J. • Nightingale, John • Andrade, Michael • Lucero, Robert L. • Thomas, Kyle G. • Rooney, Robert E. • Cutchall, Christopher E. • Baddick, Andrew Joseph • Potter, Darrin K. • Koidan, Yuri   • McGaugh, Dustin K.  • Hunte, Simeon • Gutierrez, Analaura Esparza • Blankenbecler, James D.  • Ramos, Tamarra J. • Sims, Charles M.  • Pirtle, James H. • Scott, Kerry D. • Karol, Spencer Timothy • Torres, Richard • Norquist, Joseph C. • Swisher, Christopher W. • Silva, Sean A. • Bernal Gomez, Jose Antonio • Powell, James E. • Casanova, Jose • Wyatt, Stephen E. • Wheeler, Donald L. • Weismantle, Douglas J. • Freeman, Benjamin L. • Orlando, Kim S. • Bellavia, Joseph P. • Grilley, Sean R. • Williams, Michael L. • Hart, John D. • Bernstein, David R. • Johnson, Paul J. • Bueche, Paul J. • Ward, Jason M. • Johnson, John P. • Teal, John R. • Brassfield, Artimus D. • Mora, Jose L. • Hancock, Michael S. • Guerrera, Joseph R. • Bosveld, Rachel K. • Buehring, Charles H. • Puga Gandar, Luis • Huggins, Jamie L. • Acosta, Steven • Bell, Aubrey D. • Falaniko, Jonathan I. • Adams, Algernon • Barrera, Michael Paul • Campoy, Isaac • Bryant, Todd J. • Plank, Ian • Hurley, Joshua C. • Johnson, Maurice J. • Colgan, Benjamin J. • Velasquez, Paul A. • Bucklew, Ernest G. • Dagostino, Anthony D. • Lau, Karina S. • Moss, Keelan L. • Pennanen, Ross A. • Slavenas, Brian D. • Vega, Frances M. • Wilson, Joe Nathan • Jennings, Darius T. • Bader, Daniel A. • Conover, Steven Daniel • Penisten, Brian H. • Perez, Joel • Smith, Bruce A. • Johnson, Rayshawn S. • Martinez, Francisco • Benson, Robert T. • Rivera, Jose A. • Chance III, James A. • Kupczyk, Hieronim • Thomas, Ryan Lloyd • Fisher, Paul F. • Wolf, James R. • Swartworth, Sharon T. • Kennedy, Kyran E. • Neff II, Paul M. • Rose, Scott C. • Smith, Benedict J. • Gilmore I, Cornell W. • Kennon, Morgan DeShawn • Vasquez, Mark D. • Collins, Gary L. • Frosheiser, Kurt R. • Jimenez, Linda C. • Tomko, Nicholas A. • Acosta, Genaro • Jackson, Marlon P. • Suslow, Sergiy • Wise, Robert A. • Bailey, Nathan J. • Bruno, Massimiliano • Carrisi, Alessandro • Cavallaro, Giovanni • Coletta, Giuseppe • Ferraro, Emanuele • Ficuciello, Massimiliano • Filippa, Andrea • Fregosi, Enzo • Ghione, Daniele • Ghitti, Ivan • Intravaia, Domenico • Maiorana, Horatio • Merlino, Filippo • Olla, Silvio • Ragazzi, Alfio • Trincone, Alfonso • Minucci II, Joseph • Fletcher, Jacob S. • Medina, Irving • Hayslett, Timothy L. • Petrucci, Pietro • Acklin II, Michael D. • Baker, Ryan T. • Dusenbery, William D. • Hansen, Warren S. • Uhl III, Eugene A. • Hawk Eagle, Sheldon R. • Kesterson, Erik C. • Sullivan, John R. • Wolfe, Jeremy L. • Bolor, Kelly • Russell, John W. • Saboe, Scott A. • Heidelberg, Damian L. • DiGiovanni, Jeremiah J. • Hafer, Richard W. • Piche, Pierre E. • Whitener, Joey D. • Panchot, Dale A. • Coulter, Alexander S. • Shull, James A. • Dalley, Nathan S. • Bondarenko, Aleksiey • Lister, Joseph L. • Wood, George A. • Tyrrell, Scott Matthew • Coleman, Gary B. • Bushart, Damian S. • Roberts, Robert D. • Wilson, Jerry L. • Ravago IV, Rel A. • Menyweather, Eddie E. • Smith, Darrell L. • Nason, Christopher G. • Goldberg, David J. • Sweet II, Thomas J. • Rico, Ariel • Martinez Gonzalez, Alberto • Vega Calvo, Alfonso • Rodriguez Perez, Jose Carlos • Merino Olivera, Jose Ramon • Zanon Tarazona, Luis Ignacio • Baro Ollero, Carlos • Egea, Jose Lucas • Sissel, Aaron J. • Bertolino, Stephen A. • Singh, Uday • Davis, Raphael S. • Young, Ryan C. • Boone, Clarence E. • Clark, Arron R. • Hutchinson, Ray J. • Wright, Jason G. • Bridges, Steven H. • Blickenstaff, Joseph M. • Wesley, Christopher Jude Rivera • Petty, Jerrick M. • Burdick, Richard A. • Reese, Aaron T. • Bates, Todd M. • Edgerton, Marshall L. • Braun, Jeffrey F. • Black, Jarrod W. • Ferguson, Rian C. • Voelz, Kimberly A. • Souslin, Kenneth C. • Nakis, Nathan W. • Holland, Christopher J. • Allison, Glenn R. • Bush Jr., Charles E. • Saltz, Edward M. • Moore, Stuart W. • Wasilewski, Gerard • Splinter, Christopher J. • Soelzer, Christopher F. • Biskie, Benjamin W. • Cooke, Eric F. • Yashinski, Michael E. • Christensen, Thomas W. • Hattamer, Stephen C. • Haight, Charles G. • Sutter, Michael J. • Mihalakis, Michael G. • Indzhov, Ivan Hristov • Kachorin, Georgi Hristov • Kirov, Svilen Simeonov • Petrov, Anton Valentinov • Chulert, Amporn • Klaharn, Mit • Saruev, Nikolay Angelov • Cuervo, Rey D. • Blanco, Ernesto M. • Jordan Jr., Curt E. • Pollard, Justin W. • Stenner, James • Patterson, Norman • Corral, Dennis A. • Hampton, Kimberly N. • Paliwoda, Eric Thomas • Bangayan, Solomon C. "Kelly" • Seiden, Marc S. • Frist, Luke P. • Craw, Andrew Jason • Mizener, Jesse D. • Weaver, Aaron A. • Walker, Jeffrey C. • Diraimondo, Michael A. • Hicks, Gregory B. • Johnson, Nathaniel H. • Golby, Christopher A. • Davis, Craig • Johnson Jr., Philip A. • Manuel, Ian D. • Crockett, Ricky L. • Hines, Keicia M. • Castro, Roland L. • Randle Jr., Edmond Lee • Polley Jr., Larry E. • Orr, Cody J. • Hornbeck, Kelly L. • Palacios, Gabriel T. • Parker, James D. • Windsor, Vincent Calvin • Blaise, Michael T. • Hazelgrove, Brian D. • Hendrickson, Kenneth W. • Smette, Keith L. • Chappell, Jason K. • Sturges Jr., William R. • Rosenberg, Randy S. • Dervishi, Ervin • Dorff, Patrick D. • Bunda, Christopher • Mooney, Adam G. • August, Matthew J. • Mracek, Cory R. • James, Luke S. • Hoffman, James T. • Kinney II, Lester O. • Moothart, Travis A. • Landrus, Sean G. • Moreno, Luis A. • Miersandoval, Eliu A. • Cabralbanuelos, Juan C. • McGeogh, Holly J. • Thompson, Robert • Turner Jr., Roger C. • Soriano, Armando • Dvorin, Seth J. • Perez Garcia, Gonzalo • Knowles, Joshua L. • Ramey, Richard P. • Robbins, Thomas D. • Wong, Elijah Tai Wah • Mariano, Jude C. • Tainsh, Patrick S. • Ramirez, William C. • Ramirez, Eric U. • Ivell, Richard Thomas David • Spry, Bryan N. • Frye, Nichole M. • Taylor, Christopher M. • Merila, Michael M. • Graham, Jeffrey C. • Ling, Roger G. • Bacon, Henry A. • Wells, Stephen M. • Laskowski, Matthew C. • Nuiamae, Andres • Woodliff, Michael R. • Gray, Michael J. • Jones, Gussie M. • Milczark, Matthew G. • Gottfried, Richard S. • Brabazon, Edward W. • Holland, Fern L. • Zangas, Robert J. • Hoyer, Bert Edward • Dunigan Jr., Joe L. • Hill, Christopher K. • Kurth, John F. "Hans" • Ford, Jason C. • Ferrin, Clint D. • Londono, Daniel J. • Brattain, Joel K. • Carrasquillo, Jocelyn "Joce" L. • Normandy, William J. • Adams, Michael R. • Thigpen Sr., Thomas R. • Laramore, Tracy L. • Phipps, Ivory L. • Smith, Brandon C. • Morris Jr., Ricky A. • Sutphin, Ernest Harold • Brownfield, Andrew D. • Chan, Doron • Matthews, Clint Richard "Bones" • Ludlam, Jason C. • Vicente, David M. • Sandri, Matthew J. • Taylor, Mark D. • Vega, Michael W. • Kreider, Dustin L. • Hudson, Christopher E. • Dang, Andrew S. • Miller Jr., Bruce • Shanaberger III, Wentz Jerome Henry • Froehlich, Adam D. • Burgess, Jeffrey C. • Casper, James A. • Sandoval Jr., Leroy • Toney, Timothy • Schneider, Sean M. • Holmes, Jeremiah J. • Wiscowiche, William J. • Ferguson, Richard L. • Hufstedler, Doyle M. • Mitchell, Sean R. • Karr Jr., Michael G. • Raney, Cleston C. • Davis, Brandon L. • Sekula, Dustin M. • Strange, William R. • Morris, Geoffrey S. • Barr, Aric J. • Fey, Tyler R. • Mendez Ramos, Natividad • Arsiaga, Robert R. • Garza, Israel • Jostes, Forest Joseph • Sheehan, Casey • Cason, Ahmed Akil "Mel" • Hiller, Stephen D. "Dusty" • Chen, Yihiyh L. • Mitchell, Michael W. • Amos II, John D. • Rogers, Philip G. • Hallal, Deryk L. • Langhorst, Moises A. • Serio, Matthew K. • Ramos, Christopher • Thiry, Jesse L. • Goldman, Shane Lee • McKeever, David M. • Larson Jr., Scott Quentin • Moreno, Gerardo • Androshchuk, Ruslan • Cobb, Christopher R. • Jerabek, Ryan M. • Layfield, Travis J. • Walker, Allan K. • Crowley, Kyle D. • Roberts, Anthony P. • Cherry, Marcus M. • Carman, Benjamin R. • Mendez-Aceves, Fernando A. • Mabry, Christopher D. • Todacheene, Lee Duane • Wroblewski, John Thomas "J.T." • Rentschler, George S. • Felder, Tyanna S. • Labadie Jr., William W. • Miller, Marvin Lee • Morel, Brent L. • Nieves, Isaac Michael • Angell, Levi T. • Harrell, William M. • Palmer, Joshua M. • Wafford, Michael B. • Dieruf, Nicholas J. • Wasser, Christopher B. • Frank, Phillip E. • Delgreco, Felix M. • Goodrich, Gregory R. • Krause, Elmer C. • Kephart, Jonathan Roy • Matula, Matthew E. • Torrez III, Elias • Speer, Michael Raymond • McMahan, Don Steven • Enos, Peter G. • Mallet, Toby W. • Jones Jr., Raymond Edison • Witmer, Michelle M. • Vandayburg, Allen Jeffrey "A.J." • Ayon, Eric A. • Phelps, Chance R. • Holt, Antoine J. • Sims Jr., John T. • Eckhart, William C. • Carballo, Adolf C. • Fortenberry, Wesley C. • Colton, Lawrence S. • Jimenez, Oscar • Amaya, Daniel R. • Gray, Torrey L. • Torres, George D. • Johnson, Justin W. • Brown, Nathan P. • Stack, Michael Boyd • Zurheide Jr., Robert Paul • Shuder, Brad S. • Rosaleslomeli, Victor A. • Boye, Noah L. • Kolm, Kevin T. • Rivers Jr., Frank K. • Trevithick, Richard K. • Ramirez, Christopher • Arroyave, Jimmy J. • Wood, Brian M. • McGlothin, Michael A. • Henderson II, Robert L. • Henson, Clayton Welch • Hartman, Jonathan N. • Gannon II, Richard J. • Smith Jr., Michael J. • Valdez Jr., Ruben • Van Leuven, Gary F. • Gibson, Christopher A. • Carman, Edward W. • Camposiles, Marvin A. • Morgan, Dennis B. • Gelineau, Christopher D. • Fox, Bradley C. • Harris-Kelly, Leroy • Dunham, Jason L. • Dimitrov, Dimitar Ivanov • Edwards, Shawn C. • Kordsmeier, Patrick W. • Felder, Arthur L. "Bo" • Orton, Billy J. • Brandon, Stacey C. • Pernaselli, Michael J. • Watts, Christopher E. • Brooks, Cory W. • Melton, Kenneth A. • Bruckenthal, Nathan B. • Baker, Sherwood R. • Roukey, Lawrence A. • Austin, Aaron C. • Penamedina, Abraham D. • Whitaker, Marquis A. • Mihaliev, Konstantin • Zlochevskij, Jaroslav • Herring, Jacob R. • Thomas, Kendall • Estep, Adam W. • Kondor, Martin W. • Patterson Jr., Esau G. • Dayton, Jeffrey F. • Campbell, Ryan M. • Beckstrand, James L. • Schmidt, Justin B. • Reed, Ryan E. • Darling, Norman • Ewing, Jeremy Ricardo • Garrison, Landis W. • Vincent, Scott M. • Wilfong, Joshua S. • Dwelley, Jason B. • Dickerson, Christopher M. • Wine, Trevor A. • Ladd, Joshua S. • Vargas-Medina, Oscar D. • Ojeda, Ramon C. • Caradine Jr., Ervin • Drexler, Jeremy L. • Nunes, Todd E. • Anderson, Michael C. • Dossett, Trace W. • Mchugh, Scott R. • Jenkins, Robert B. • Ginther, Ronald A. • Tipton, John E. • Petty, Erickson H. • Baum, Ronald E. • Kenny, Christopher J. • Sprayberry III, Marvin R. • Wahl, Gregory L. • Marcus Jr., Lyndon A. • Buryj, Jesse R. • Marshall, James E. • Kritzer, Bradley G. • Green, Jeffrey G. • Box Jr., Hesley • Schrage, Dustin H. • Krajewski, Marek • Whitman, Chase R. • Rubalcava, Isela • Strozak, Slawomir • Holmes, James J. • Brown, Philip D. • Murray, Rodney A. • Tuazon, Andrew L. • Steensma, Dave • Brinlee, Kyle A. • Shaver, Jeffrey R. • Savage, Jeremiah E. • Sturdy, Brandon C. • Cutter, Brian K. • Barnhill, Edward C. • Spakosky, Philip I. • Harlan, James William • Cronkrite, Brud J. • Mora, Michael A. • Ledesma, Rene • Espaillat Jr., Pedro I. • Cowherd Jr., Leonard M. • Vanzan, Matteo • Kasecky, Mark Joseph • Curran, Carl F. • Roberts, Bob W. • Carey, Michael M. • Garyantes, Joseph P. • Nolasco, Marcos O. • Chaney, William D. • Campbell, Michael C. • Miranda, Troy "Leon" • Salas, Rudy • Jackson, Leslie D. • Horton, Jeremy R. • Zabierek, Andrew J. • Ridlen, Jeremy L. • Molina Bautista, Jorge A. • Beaulieu, Beau R. • Witt, Owen D. • Sheehan, Kevin F. • Bean Jr., Alan N. • Unger, Daniel Paul • Rosas, Richard H. • Lambert, James P. • Codner, Kyle W. • Henderson, Matthew C. • Nicolas, Dominique J. • Wiesemann, Michael J. • Gonzalez, Benjamin R. • Calavan, Cody S. • Reynosasuarez, Rafael • Elandt, Aaron C. • Ballard, Kenneth Michael • Zimmer, Nicholaus E. • Coleman, Bradli N. • Odums II, Charles E. • Sides, Dustin L. • Scheetz Jr., Robert C. • Johnson, Markus J. • Lee, Bumrok  • Bolding, Todd J. • McCrae, Erik S. • Linden, Justin W. • Eyerly, Justin L. • Carvill, Frank T. • Duffy, Christopher M. • Doltz, Ryan E. • Timoteo, Humberto F. • Mora Lopez, Melvin Y. • Hobart, Melissa J. • Gray, Jamie A. • Bohlman, Jeremy L. • Khan, Humayun S. M. • Zielke, Andrzej • Krygiel, Tomasz • Dinga, Peter • Simonides, Vladimir • Frkan, Miroslav • Baumanis, Olafs • Caughman, Thomas D. • McKinley, Eric S. • Atkins, Shawn M. • Syverson III, Paul R. • Mastrapa, Arthur S. (Stacey) • Dimaranan, Jeremy M. • Nagy, Richard • Vue, Thai • Lynch, Jason N. • Horn, Sean • Best, Marvin • Parker Jr., Tommy L. • Contreras, Pedro • Lopez, Juan • Otey, Deshon E. • Pennington, Gregory V. • Tyson, Andre D. • McCaffrey Sr., Patrick R. • Cash, Christopher S. • Desens, Daniel A. • Kiser, Charles A. • Heines, Jeremy M. • Ceniceros, Manuel A. • Utt, Ernest E. • Gentle, Gordon Campbell • Sherman, Alan David • Todd III, John H. • Adle, Patrick R. • DuSang, Robert L. • Wagener, Christopher A. • Conde Jr., Kenneth • Creager, Timothy R. • Huston Jr., James B. • Genzersky, Roman • Smith, Brian D. • Martin, Stephen G. • Torres, Michael S. • Vangyzen IV, John J. • Kerns, Dallas L. • Tarantino, Antonio • Hunt, Justin T. • Lawrence, Jeffrey D. • Dougherty, Scott Eugene • Youmans, Rodricka Antwan • Barkey, Michael C. • Bowen, Samuel R. • Emanuel IV, William River • Sampler, Sonny Gene • Colvill Jr., Robert E. • Barcus, Collier Edwin • Garmback Jr., Joseph M. • Davies, Shawn M. • Schmunk, Jeremiah W. • Holmes Ordóñez, Terry • Spink, Trevor • Nachampassak, Krisna • Reed, Christopher J. • Peters, Dustin W. • Tarango-Griess, Linda Ann • Fischer, Jeremy J. • West, James G. • Wilson, Dana N. • Harris, Torry D. • Rice, Demetrius Lamont • Martinez, Jesse J. • Mardis Jr., Paul C. • Kelly, Bryan P. • Frank, Craig S. • Hartman, David A. • Gover, Kristian Michel Alexander • Lloyd, Dale Thomas • Persing, Charles C. "C.C." • Godwin, Todd J. • Clark, Michael J. • Daniels II, Danny B. • Blodgett, Nicholas H. • Engel, Mark E. • Dantzler, Torey J. • Reed, Tatjana • Sullivan, Vincent M. • Zangara, Nicholas J. • Talbert, DeForest L. "Dee" • Leisten, Ken W. • Greene, David S. • Lane, Shawn A. • Rutkowski, Marcin • Herndon II, Joseph F. • Dixon, Anthony J. • Hernandez, Armando • Onwordi, Justin B. • Calderon Jr., Juan • Pratt, Dean P. • Shondee Jr., Harry N. • Ratzlaff, Gregory A. • Gray, Tommy L. • Fontecchio, Elia P. • Nice, Joseph L. • Rayment, Christopher Gordon • Faulstich Jr., Raymond J. • Rocha, Moses Daniel • Reynoso, Yadir G. • McCune, Donald R. • Wells, Larry L. • Abad, Roberto • Bunch, Joshua I. • Potter, David L. • Collins, Jonathan W. • Ulbright, Rick A. • O'Callaghan, Lee Martin • Houghton, Andrew R. • Howard, John R. • Hubbard, Tavon L. • Ferns, Marc • Tarlavsky, Michael Yury • Funke, Kane M. • Morrison, Nicholas B. • Santoriello, Neil Anthony • Severs, Jeroen • Ivanov, Yuriy • Sapp, Brandon R. • Zapata, Mark Anthony • Goins, James Michael • Shepherd, Daniel Michael • Hannon, Fernando B. • Perez, Geoffrey • Heath, David M. • Thomas, Paul David Trevor • Powers, Caleb J. • Titus, Brandon T. • Risner, Henry C. • Parkerson III, Harvey Emmett • Fitzgerald, Dustin R. • Martir, Jacob D. • Lord, Richard M. • McCormick, Brad Preston • Rusinek, Grzegorz • Kutrzyk, Sylwester • Wilkins III, Charles L. • Martin, Ryan A. • Cuming, Kevin A. • Andrzejczak, Krystian • Alvarez, Nicanor • Cook, Jason • Huston, Seth • Washalanta, Nachez • Reeder, Edward T. • Stovall, Matthew R. • Belchik, Christopher • Thornton Jr., Robert C. • Davis, Donald N. • Lugo, Jacob R. • Arredondo, Alexander S. • Neeley, Charles L. • Ross, Marco D. • Humlhanz, Barton R. • Skinner, Nicholas M. • Perez, Luis A. • Razani, Omead H. • Aldrich, Nickalous N. • Lopez, Edgar E. • Anderson Jr., Carl L. • Holleyman, Aaron N. • Thibodeaux III, Joseph C. • Perez, Nicholas • Rowe, Alan • Winchester, Ronald • Wilt, Nicholas • Knott, Eric L. • Morrison, Shawna • Lamb, Charles • Vaillant, Gary A. • Allred, Michael J. • Burridge, David Paul • Gardner, Derek L. • Keith, Quinn A. • McCarthy, Joseph C. • Nygardbekowsky, Mick R. • Wilson, Lamont N. • Grella, Devin J. • Garces, Tomas • Adams III, Clarence • Boria, John J.

Named "coalition" fatalities from the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count. As of 45 minutes ago, there were five additional unreported fatalities.

G-d help us all.


That’s a nice country you’ve got there; it’d be a shame if someone broke it

In the grand scheme of things, does the Evil Party really think that making threats about things being blown up unless people vote for them is really the way to get the undecided voters to break their way?

It's like they're getting their intimidation lines from dumb gangster movies or Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Sep 07, 2004

Ross Island from the Ross Island bridge

When the bus hit the Ross Island bridge, I poked my camera out of the window and started clicking away.

Back to our regularly scheduled political rants

Toddlers against B*sh

Sep 06, 2004

I don’t think this is a good idea

The Sellwood bridge is, um, in need of repair. In particular, the western approach to the bridge is falling apart (to the point where you can't drive trucks or city busses on it.) The disrepair of the bridge has been well-known for quite some time now, but nobody is actually doing anything about it. A few years ago, a while after we moved into the neighborhood, we went to a few SMILE meetings where various representatives of ODOT tried to convince the neighborhood association that they just had to put in a new four-lane bridge to replace the existing two-lane bridge. Since the neighborhood plan was to convert Tacoma avenue into a 2 lane street, this didn't go over very well, particularly after the ODOT people said that they were thinking about a couple of choices, and Sellwood was only one of them -- the other choice? A bridge running from downtown Milwaukie, just south of the Waverly Golf Course, across the river to, um, Dunthorpe. For some reason, nobody at the SMILE meetings thought this was a serious alternative to a Sellwood bridge, and thus kept shooting at the 4-lane Sellwood bridge idea until it went down and stayed down.

4-5 years passed, and the bridge fell into worse repair, with not one bit of interest from either ODOT (still licking their wounded pride after being told to shove their 4-lane bridge plan), Multnomah County, or, well, anyone. And eventually the west approach to the bridge started to disintegrate, at which point the chickens started to run around in anticipation of the guillotine.

It turns out that Multnomah County had attempted to get money to replace the Sellwood bridge (why not just demolish the western approach and build a new one? Would that make too much sense for modern civil engineering™?) but the trucking lobby was blocking it because they wanted a 4-lane bridge to connect Tacoma (2 lane) to Macadam (4-lane, but it's a really twisted 4 lane road.) So here it sits. It wasn't a problem before they stopped running the #40 bus, but now it's a problem because I can't easily take the #40 from work to New Seasons anymore, but would have to get off the bus somewhere on Macadam, walk across the busiest 2-lane bridge in Oregon, then walk home after shopping.

But, anyway, people are now batting around plans to replace it.

Metro counseller Rod Monroe proposed one plan to the SMILE board. His plan is a 4-lane bridge, but a 4-lane bridge with a trolley line across it, connecting the (not-yet-built-and-goes-through-fucking-Dunthorpe) trolley line across the river along Tacoma to 17th Ave, then north to Division street where it would connect to the (not-yet-built) east-side extension of the 23rd/Pearl/PSU/Riverplace trolley line. The details are missing from the little meeting announcement in the Bee, but even if it's going to be built by the city of Portland and won't be as hideously expensive as the lines planned by members of the military-industrial complex (if they can be torn away from the motherlode of taxpayer money that is Iraq), there's still the teeny matter of it being ~6 miles from Riverplace to the Sellwood bridge, a mile across to 17th, and another 6 miles up to Division street, which translates to $325 million (@ $25 million/mile) that would have to be found somewhere in Oregon.

I guess Multnomah County could secede from Oregon and then pay for it with part of the money we'd save by not having to transfer state income taxes to the "anti-tax" welfare queens in the rest of the state (a good idea anyway; If the anti-tax welfare queens were stupid enough to float an initiative to kill off the state income tax, I'd vote for it just so I could watch the rest of the state realize that, um, no, the flow of money between Metro and the rest of the state is not in the direction they think) but aside from that I can't really think of any way that money will appear. (And, anyway, that's in the range that the backers of the incredibly stupid major-league baseball proposals are asking for; if the city could get that sort of money for something useful, we've have to call in airstrikes to shut the MLB twits up.)

I suspect that's not the plan. I suspect the plan is to build the "trolley bridge" with just enough money to build a 4-lane bridge with "room for" streetcar tracks (and thus federal transportation subsidies), but, shucks, we can't finish the trolley line because all of a sudden we don't have money for it.

And wouldn't that be a surprise. Given my druthers, I'd rather wait for a bridge replacement plan that doesn't smell like week-old fish.



They've got a couple of new exhibits at the Oregon Zoo. The big one includes a bald eagle (thanks to those godless liberals who got DDT banned in the 1970s, thus keeping the bald eagle unextinct), but there's also a farm exhibit that includes a hedgehog.

No sign of the Piranha brothers.

Any excuse for trainspotting

This Labor Day, we went to the Oregon Zoo, mainly because they were running their little steam locomotive. Well, yes, there are animals there, but One Must Have Priorities.

On the way to the Zoo, I managed to get an indifferent picture of some diesel power waiting at the north end of Brooklyn Yard.


When we got to the Zoo, the steam locomotive was just pulling out of the top station, and we watched it go under the long viaduct that people use to walk down into the Zoo.


The next train out was the little blue diesel train, but it filled up before we got to the station, so we had to wait for the Zooliner to arrive before we could ride down to the Washington Park/Rose Garden station.


At the Washington Park station, we waited for the next train, which, by happy coincidence, ended up being pulled by the steam locomotive.


And on the way up to the top station I used up the rest of the memory in our camera taking a video of the steam locomotive working hard upgrade. By happy luck, the camera had enough memory to tape the meet we made with the blue engine going down to the Washington Park/Rose Garden station.

Mount Tabor

Russell's little friend Jaden had a birthday party yesterday at Mt. Tabor, so the bears put on their Eng! hats and made an afternoon of it.

Part of the party involved a piñata, so Russell pretended he was George W. Bush attacking a copy of the United States Constitution.

Silas had absolutely no interest in playing neocon, but instead wandered around the caldera all by himself.

After the party, we came home, with a stop at the new New Seasons at 20th and Division so the bears could "drive" one of the truck-shaped shopping carts.


Sep 04, 2004


Since it's the start of a three day weekend, we went out today and did a bunch of errands, including dropping by REI to get a couple of child-sized collapsable chairs. REI didn't have any chairs, but they were having their labor-day sale and I bought a pair of shoes while the bears hung around on the pretend rock shoe-testing area.

We also went to the hardware store and bought a wheelbarrow to carry them home in, but we didn't take the camera, so you'll have to imagine what it looked like.

Sep 03, 2004

ORblogs fun

In the interests of cruise-missile accuracy, I moved my ICBM coordinates south of downtown so they're at least in my neighborhood. ORBlogs then cheerfully started saying that TSFR was located in Milwaukie instead of Portland.

No, no, I'm not located inside the Clackamas Curtain!

Tweaks to the weblog program (not published yet)

An anonymous Schrodinger employee has been assisting me in debugging some of the commenting code in Annotations, by the simple and useful debugging method of posting snarky comments. The code I'd put in to stop people from posting anonymously was, er, not checking for a condition that was ever going to happen.

They've also (inadvertently) pointed out that when I lowercased all the machine names at 'dinger, I forgot to lowercase the names for the reverse DNS. Sigh. If the printer queue is still whining, Nazilla is now (at least after the dns changes propagate) nazilla, as G*D himself (and, I suspect, Windows 2003 server) intended.

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Honor among thieves

Zell Miller (R-GA) riled up the troops by calling everybody else traitors on Wednesday, and what does he get for his yeoman duty for the Evil Party? A shiv in the back, a pair of concrete overshoes, and a quick tour of the bottom of the east river.

The GOP; they're not just fascists, they're stupid fascists.


Why I like Paul Krugman

They aren't LaRouchies - they're Republicans.

It's too good to just quote.

Sep 02, 2004

Fifteen seconds

That's how long it took between the time my father turned to the Evil Party convention and the time I started shouting Lies! Lies! It's all lies!

Do the fascists ever tell the truth?

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weblog CSS tweakery

John Allison has graciously allowed me to use a clipping of Amy Chilton on my weblog, so I've tweaked the background color of the weblog to match the background on the picture. While I was at it, I shoved and pushed some of the other css around to clean up the looks of the sidebar -o- links on it.

I'm not sure if yellow date bars go well with the blue background color, but it's pretty easy to correct (easier than making a favicon.ico image for the website) and if my eyes start burning out today, I'll make everything a much more soothing John Majorish color.

Schadenfreude – it’s not just for breakfast anymore (Pt 2)!

Ralph Nader (R-who cares?) appears to have failed to get onto the ballot in Oregon. And this even after the GOP helped as much as possible with the signature gathering effort.

Now, please, why don't you go away? You're on the ballot in Florida, and between Republican vote theft and you, I'm sure you can deliver at least 70% of the state to the Coward in Chief, and that will make up for more than a dozen Oregons.

What is it about the B*sh junta and conventions anyway?

In 1992, they dragged out Pat Buchanan to translate from the German, and this year they got Zell Miller (R-GA) to do the very same thing.

I'm sure it helps keep their delegates from worrying about the economy, the tarpit that is Iraq, the teeny detail that nobody in the government is talking about Osama bin Laden anymore, and countless other things that the Coward in Chief and his flying monkeys have done, but I don't think it's likely that vote for US or you're a filthy traitor! is going to win over too many of the undecided voters out there.

Downtown Portland from the Ross Island Bridge

Courtesy of my A60 and the #9 bus.

Finally caught a train at Milwaukie and Powell

Around the time the Sellwood Shuttle went by going north, I heard this train whistle for the 12th Ave crossing, so I hustled up to the corner, took a couple of pictures, then ran back before the bus (the one you see coming towards the camera in this picture) made it up to the bus stop.

Sep 01, 2004

Not a lowfat diet

I ran out of half and half for my coffee at work and we didn't have a spare container of it at home, so I brought in a carton of heavy cream to adulterate the coffee with.

The most disturbing thing about using heavy cream in coffee is the butter deposits on the sides and bottom of the coffee. Just think, whispers my subconscious, the exact same thing is happening to your arteries!

My father is fond of repeating a little rhyme from grade school circa 1928 or 1929:

Tea is poison
Coffee's worse!
We drink water
Safety first!

When the bears were born, I modified the rhyme a little bit to be

Tea is poison
Coffee's worse!
A short life but a merry one!

I suspect that too much heavy cream would make that distressingly (but not for me, because I'd be a Norwegian Blue) true for my friends and family.

You can trust electronic voting.

Or maybe not.

I don't know about you, but if I was the dictator I'd find a two-digit voting machine override to be an essential part of getting those traditional 90% margins that scream electoral integrity.